“The similarities are almost eerie. This year, readers gave us the lowdown on over 13,000 desktop PCs—enough data to rate eight of the country’s leading brands. And the final tally looks an awful lot like last year’s survey results,” Cade Metz reports for PC Magazine on “The 19th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey.”

Metz reports, “This year, you diehard PC Mag readers detailed your experiences with nearly 20,000 PCs (notebooks and desktops) and more than 6,500 printers (from mono lasers to color ink jet all-in-ones). And what you say about the leading manufacturers isn’t always what we’d expect. No big name is above criticism. (Well, maybe one is, but we’re inclined to believe that’s due to more than just spiked apple juice.) If you’re in the market for a new desktop, notebook, or printer, this report is a must-read.”

“Look no further than Apple, the leader of the pack, whose overall score holds steady at 9.1. Last year, Apple’s score on units needing repair was an impressive 11 percent—well below that of any other company in the survey. But according to readers, the company has managed to cut repair rates even further over the past 12 months. This year, Apple’s score on units needing repair drops to 8 percent. Among first-year systems, it’s only 5 percent. That’s nothing less than astonishing,” Metz reports.

Metz reports, “As we’ve said in the past, Mac owners are unusually passionate about their machines, and this may have had an effect on the company’s unusually high Service and Reliability scores. But the score for percentage needing repair is less subjective than others. Either Apple is doing something right when it comes to quality control, or its restrictive warranty makes people less likely to have their systems repaired.”

“Just how satisfied are Mac owners? That 9.1 overall score is significantly better than the average for Windows PCs. And the same can be said of the company’s scores for reliability and the likelihood of recommending. It should be noted, however, that Apple’s score on technical support is down this year (from 8.4 to 8.1),” Metz reports, “Is that a reflection of Apple’s standard warranty, which allows only 90 days of telephone support for software issues? Probably not. Readers say that, among first-year Apple systems, 88 percent of tech support issues are covered by warranty (either Apple’s or a third party’s)—the highest rate among leading vendors.”

Metz reports, “[In notebooks], once again, Apple is at the top. Its overall score, 9.1, is significantly better than the average for Windows notebooks—and a full seven-tenths of a point better than Lenovo’s overall score, 8.4. Its scores for reliability (9.2), tech support (8.5), and likelihood of recommending (9.4) are also significantly better than average. Yes, its score on percentage needing repair is merely average, but at 16 percent, it’s the lowest of the survey (alongside Sony’s 16 percent).”

“Is this a function of that unique passion Apple users have for the company’s products? Perhaps. But, again, it’s hard to question the number of units needing repair. Among first-year systems, only 7 percent needed repair—2 points better than Sony,” Metz reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why does Cade Metz come across as incredulous even though this is at least Apple’s 4th consecutive year at the top of the survey? They really fight hard against the obvious truth, don’t they? Or is Metz just trying to protect his audience’s self-esteem?

Windows PC users really should ask themselves why, from their point of view, “Mac owners are unusually passionate about their machines.” We ask ourselves all the time, “Why are Windows users unusually ambivalent (or outright hostile) about their PCs? Why do they keep using Windows? Why don’t they try something better?”

Metz writes, “If you’re in the market for a new desktop, notebook, or printer, this report is a must-read.” Don’t just read it this year, Windows-only users. Life’s too short: Get a Mac.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac desktops, portables top PC Magazine’s 2005 Reader Satisfaction survey – August 24, 2005
Apple Computer products top PC Magazine’s annual ‘Best of the Year’ survey – December 16, 2004
Apple Macs top PC Magazine’s ’17th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey’ – August 10, 2004
Apple leads PC Magazine’s 16th annual Service and Reliability Survey – July 10, 2003

Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003